President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make special funds available for the local production of textiles and garments in Nigeria.
Mr Buhari gave the instruction after declaring open the 31st National Education Conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
The theme of the conference is “Labour and Industry in the Next Level”.
The president who was represented by the Registrar of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Segun Ajiboye, called on the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to facilitate the training of textile industry workers to sustain current efforts at improving local garments production in the country.
He said his administration demonstrated its committed to improving industries in the country with the signing of the Executive Order 003.
Mr Buhari said the order mandates all procuring authorities to give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.
The president said the CBN had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian military and paramilitary outfits, as part of efforts to revive the Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) sector in Nigeria.
“After a series of engagements, the CBN initiated the signing of an unprecedented MoU between the Service Chiefs, chief executives of uniform services and textile garment manufacturers on enforcement of Executive Order 003 in support of local urgent procurement.”
The president also said there is a need to train the existing 40,000 garments and textile industry workers.
The General Secretary of NUTGTWN, Issa Aremu, commended the Federal Government for the closure of Nigeria’s land borders to end smuggling of goods into the country.
He said the garment industries have been revived in the country and there is a need to sustain the current efforts and ”support the Nigeria Customs Service to fight smuggling.
“We will like to commend the efforts of the Federal Government in the closure of its land borders, this has helped in a total overhaul of textile and garment industries in the country.
He said the association had also signed 46 national agreements for development.
He said there was the need for the ITF to increase its intervention on worker’s training and skills development, saying this is necessary as the future of work was being threatened by technology.
Mr Aremu also advised the government to be wary of foreign investors who use diverse schemes to swindle the country, citing the over nine billion dollars PI&D gas contract scam.
Speaking in the same vein, NUTGTWN National President, John Adaji, said the Buhari administration has shown commitment to revamping the textile industry with the introduction of a comprehensive Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) Policy.
Mr Adaji said the policy, if implemented, would help to meet the Federal Government’s target of creating 100 million jobs in 10 years, adding that the union has the capacity to create no fewer than 2.5 million jobs.
He commended the CBN’s development financing programme, which he said has aided the distribution of cotton seeds to farmers and the restructuring of Bank of Industry loans to surviving textile companies.
The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) is an amalgamation of 34 textile house unions. It was registered in 1977, while the formal listing of the union was done under the Trade Unions (Amendment) Decree 22 of 1978.